There are several options to get live chat conversations handled without being behind the computer all the time.
Hire an live chat agent
If you don’t want to handle live chat conversation yourself, you can hire a live chat agent to do it for you. There are plenty of external vendors that offer these services. The downside however is that you need to pay the agent for the hours. And those bills can really add up. Another downside is that often such a live chat agent doesn’t have the knowledge and experience that you or one of your employees have. They don’t know the details of a particular car nor can they book maintenance appointments.
Automate live chat conversations with chatbots
An alternative to hiring a live chat agent is to make use of automation and chatbots. A chatbot is basically a robot that automatically answers questions. It can have a whole conversation like humans have, but then in an automated way.
There are different types of chatbots each with their own pros and cons. Although chatbot technology is improving fast, it either is not good enough to really help your customer or very complex and expensive to set up.
Hybrid solution with automated reply messages and smart answer blocks
The third option to still use live chat on your car dealership website, but have it manageable and affordable is to work with automated reply messages and smart answer blocks. This is like a hybrid form between hiring a live chat agent and using chatbots to answer live chat conversations.
First let’s start with automated reply messages. This is an automated message that a potential customer receives when they start a live chat conversation. In this message you first of all thank them for reaching out, but also explain that you will come back to them within e..g the next 4 hours. This helps you to group all conversations and answer them all in once e.g. at the end of the day. By setting up a great automated reply message, you manage the expectations of the customer without hurting their experience while being much more efficient in answering all those conversations.
Smart answer blocks are automatically generated answers you can send to the customer with just a click of a button. With smart answer blocks you don’t have to write answers to most common questions all the time. This saves a lot of time and makes answering to live chat conversations for your car dealership a piece of cake. Smart answer blocks work with the same language recognition technology as chatbots do. This technology is called Conversational AI and can recognize what a customer is talking about. Based on that recognition, it proposes an answer. If needed, you still keep the ability to change or personalise the message before sending it.